Personal InformationJudge Dietz grew up in a small Pennsylvania Dutch family with roots in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. He is a Lutheran. He comes from a family of railroad and telephone workers and was the first in his family to attend college.
Before joining the Court, Judge Dietz was a partner on the Appellate & Supreme Court team at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, a 650-lawyer international law firm with its roots in North Carolina.
In his legal practice, Judge Dietz argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in Abramski v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 2259 (2014), and handled dozens of appeals in other state and federal courts around the country. He argued cases in a wide range of legal areas, including constitutional law, complex business law, criminal law, family law, and tort law. He has also represented a broad array of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to low-income families and indigent criminal defendants.
Judge Dietz is a North Carolina board certified specialist in Appellate Practice. He previously served as a vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association, as vice chair of the Appellate Practice Section and on the Appellate Practice Section Council. He has also served for more than ten years on the Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee, a group of lawyers and judges who review the state’s appellate rules and draft proposed changes.
Judge Dietz has served on a number of court-related boards and commissions, including the North Carolina Courts Commission, a group of judges, lawyers, legislators, and private citizens who study and recommend changes to the court system. He currently serves on the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission and chaired the Commission’s strategic planning committee.
Judge Dietz graduated first in his class from Wake Forest University School of Law and served as research editor of the Wake Forest Law Review. He earned a master’s degree in judicial studies from Duke University School of Law, where he authored a master’s thesis on the economic liberty protections in the North Carolina Constitution. He holds his bachelor’s degree in business from Shippensburg University, graduating summa cum laude and serving as president of the University Honors Program. Judge Dietz attended both Wake Forest Law School and Shippensburg University on full academic scholarships.
After law school, Judge Dietz clerked for two highly regarded federal judges, Judge Emory Widener on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Samuel Wilson on the U.S. District Court in Virginia.
Judge Dietz also served as a research fellow in comparative law at Kyushu University in Japan, where he studied comparative and international law issues including the Hague Convention on International Service of Process and the global implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
- North Carolina Lawyers Weekly “Leader in the Law” recipient
- North Carolina Advocates for Justice “Outstanding Appellate Judge” award
- Appellate Judges Conference, American Bar Association
- Appellate Practice Section, North Carolina Bar Association
- Appellate Rules Committee, North Carolina Bar Association
- Chief Justice Joseph Branch American Inn of Court
- Council of Appellate Lawyers, American Bar Association (2010-2014)
- Ethics & Grievance Committee, 21st Judicial District Bar (2013-2014)
- Federal Bar Association, Middle District of North Carolina Chapter (2008-2014)
- Forsyth County Bar Association/21st Judicial District Bar
- Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference (permanent member)
- North Carolina Courts Commission (2013-2015)
- North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission
- North Carolina Bar
- District of Columbia Bar
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
- United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
- United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia